Are you looking for a new BPM vendor or product? How do you choose one?
Effective ways to demonstrate the value of a business process management product will save you time and money. We've been there. We've responded to the RFPs (request for proposal). We've done the demos. We've networked at the tradeshows and with the user groups. We've gone from the top down and the bottom up. Take it from us, and don't make more work for yourself than is necessary!
1) Open the door: Do you write an RFP looking for the right product to handle your needs? No! Instead of writing long proposals, or sifting through faceless descriptions, invite 2-3 companies to come onsite for a demo or to give a remote demo. And, if you already have a shortlist of demo offers, start there - companies that invest in showing their product likely understand the problem space better than those that sell through proposals and marketing.
2) Walking the talk: For the demo, choose 1-2 outside facing processes for the proof of concept. They should have an integration point or two and should have simple ways to measure improvement. Have a few people who will actually be using the workflow be on the demo with the vendor, ask questions about why the processes are managed in the ways the vendor shows, and see how your team can make their own changes.
3) Show me! Get clear descriptions of how the product has helped other companies, and ideally case examples. Numbers are fantastic here - look for the data. Even better is to get active customer references who are willing to share their experiences in real time.
4) Solve problems: Make sure you communicate the most pressing problems you're facing. Does the product solve those problems? You don't have to understand all the functions, bells, and whistles it can provide, but you do have to understand its specific value for you.
Those of us in the business of business process management should be the least likely to let ineffective sales processes get in our way.